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Big increase coming for Ada County property tax assessments

The Ada County Assessor's Office reports there will be about a 25% increase compared to last year's property tax assessments.

BOISE, Idaho — Homeowners in Ada County may be in for a surprise when they look at the new numbers for the county’s property tax assessments, which are expected to be mailed out later this month. 

“If you’ve been paying attention and read or listen to the news at all, you really do know that this market has been an extremely hot market," said Robert McQuade, the Ada County Assessor.

With 13,000 single-family residential properties sales in 2020, the Ada County Assessor's Office said the newest property tax assessment numbers are one of the largest jumps in more than 50 years. 

"In 2006, 2005, we saw 13 or 14 percent increases, but this year we’re looking at a 25 percent increase," McQuade said.

McQuade said, compared to this time last year, he would have never thought the area would see an increase like this for 2021. The 2020 housing market started out strong in February and March, but the pandemic really slowed it down in April. 

“We would have expected hardly any growth, maybe negative growth in the market at the end of the year," McQuade said. "We never would have imagined that we would have seen 25% increases in a year.” 

McQuade and his office do not set values on homes for the county. They look at the market data and interpret how the market is doing if homes were to sell on Jan. 1 of each year. They then apply those home sale prices to all homes in the area. 

Things to also take into consideration are upgrades to a home, location and the size of zoning and overlay.

“I know this is a big increase but it is certainly supported by the data we have," McQuade said.

In McQuade's eyes, the community can look at the numbers in two ways - higher property tax value means the value of people’s homes increases or people may be getting priced out.

These new assessments could prevent people from buying into the housing market, especially those who are trying to buy their first home. This would also make rentals on apartments in the area increase too. 

“You have a lot of people moving in," McQuade said. "In Ada County, our population increased by 3%. The demand is so high and the supply is just very short, so it’s really an imbalance of supply and demand that’s driving these prices up.” 

Having higher property tax assessments does not necessarily mean there will be higher property tax bills. Taxing districts, like schools and city councils, will set those around the fall when determining their budgets. 

“A 25% increase in value is not going to translate into a 25% increase in your taxes, that could just not happen," McQuade said.

If people get their property tax assessment back and disagree with what they see, McQuade said to give their office a call to appeal that value: (208) 287-7200.

Many disputes are usually settled over the phone. Only about 1.3% of people in Ada County actually call to ask questions about their assessment, according to McQuade.

The deadline to file an appeal is June 28. 

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